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Friday, December 09, 2011

Euro crisis

Economist chart:
Despite the budget deficit blow-outs needed in order for European governments to retain their nations' standards of living in the wake of the credit pop three years ago I still consider the Euro more stable and with better long term prospects of stability than the US dollar. The graph shows the wide difference in fiscal constraint exercised by Germany and the outlying basket cases of Ireland and Greece who now face (a basically)imposed austerity to remain in the Euro-zone.

As our own Reserve Bank Governor described this week when he left the RBNZ's OCR at a record low 2.5%, the situation for the foreseeable future is a slow "grind". The external stimulus needed for economic expansion - and the repayment of that large debt overhang most Western countries face - depends on the emerging economies, themselves vulnerable to weak European and American consumption, steaming ahead. How long will this take - and is it possible to have the major Western economies in a slump and have the rest of the world maintaining high growth rates?

Major reconstruction of the Euro system - especially an agreement to link tax/revenue and spending into the equation (more stringently than at present with greater penalties that the big guys can't just wriggle out of as they have) seems necessary to many, but the issue of sovereignty may be insurmountable. An individual government's ability to operate internally an independent policy will be sacrificed, further sacrificed, to the centre (ie. to the politians in Berlin and the bankers of Frankfurt) and as the rejection of previous incremental Treaties has shown the European citizens of their respective states are loath to give up their self-determination.



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